Orders of the Day — Scottish Development Agency Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:50 am on 21st October 1987.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley 2:50 am, 21st October 1987

I did not raise the issue. It was raised by the hon. Member for Ross, Cromarty and Skye. No other hon. Member has had the opportunity to pursue the point and the Minister will not be able to reply. That is important. The debate is being ended prematurely.

My seventh point is that the Minister wanted the debate to finish early because the Conservatives are tired after the recess. I have been fed up watching Scottish television seeing again and again the Minister responsible for education and social work—still the young, prematurely balding person — going on and on scratching around Scotland purporting to represent the people of Scotland when we know that he does not. Ministers might be tired because of their strutting around but my hon. Friend the Member for Falkirk, East (Mr. Ewing) wisely boycotted the opening of the hospital to which the Minister for Health was invited. Ministers are obviously tired and do not want to spend time in Parliament discussing such issues. If on day one Ministers feel a bit peely wally I emphasise what my colleagues have said—"You have seen nothing yet." Standing Committees are still to come. All it needs is one staunch Tory to go and the whole edifice will crumble. Then we have a Select Committee on Scottish Affairs — or have we? That Committee has a Labour majority, but will English Members be appointed? If the Government think that by truncating this debate they can save trouble in the future, they have another think coming. The only way that the Government can achieve a majority on the Select Committee is to have a Committee of three and press-gang two unwilling Tories to sit on it. That is the ridiculous position that they are in. Then they must consider the Scottish Grand Committee and Scottish Question Time. That will keep Ministers on their toes. Finally — [HON. MEMBERS: "Encore."] Hon. Members hesitated a little before that cry for more came along so this will be my final point. I thought that one reason why the hon. Member for Stirling proposed the motion was that he may be worried about the people here, the catering staff, the Hansard staff and the people working all the equipment. Then I thought again, this motion has been proposed by the Conservatives and they could not care less about the ordinary people who are working to support us. My one regret is that we are going on in these unsocial hours ——